The human resources department will be obsolete in a matter of years. All HR functions will be done more efficiently by software, or will be outsourced entirely. At least that’s what some are saying.
Although software has, and is, changing the way HR functions, rather than spell the end of HR, industry analysts and practitioners predict these changes will provide new opportunities for growth. Software Advice, a firm that writes reviews and buyer’s guides for HR software, interviewed nine HR experts to better understand what will change and why, as well as find out how HR professionals can prepare.
Prediction 1: In-house HR will downsize and outsourcing will increase.
This prediction may seem somewhat, well, predictable. But the reasons our experts give for the change might surprise you: new technologies and increased employee participation in HR processes.
Prediction 2: Strategic thinking will become in-house HR’s new core competence.
The leaner version of HR that remains will need to reposition itself as a strategic partner within the business. Over half the experts interviewed mentioned HR needs to increase its strategic value to the business–or else.
Prediction 3: The pendulum will swing back to the specialist.
The experts observe a cyclical shift in the HR field. Every few years practitioners fluctuate between the the independent specialists to the generalist practitioner. Recently generalists have been in demand, but the pendulum might be swinging back toward the specialist.
Prediction 4: HR will increasingly utilize analytics and big data to augment its value to the firm.
In-house HR professionals will need to embrace analytics and “big data” to become strategic leaders in their companies, while new hires might be needed in the HR department to accommodate the increased use of analytics.
Prediction 5: Managing a remote workforce will be the new norm.
Recent moves by companies like Yahoo and Best Buy to end their remote work programs are the exception, not the new normal. Without a doubt, HR will increasingly have to tackle the challenge of managing a remote workforce.
Prediction 6: HR will need to become more like Marketing.
As the war for talent continues, recruiters and the broader HR department will need to adopt tactics that have traditionally belonged in the marketing field. HR will become the new brand ambassadors to external talent.
Preparing for 2020
What can current HR professionals begin doing now to prepare for these predicted changes? The experts all endorse one tactic: keep learning. Risk-taking and networking will help, too.
Erin Osterhaus is the Managing Editor for Software Advice’s HR blog, The New Talent Times. She focuses on the HR market, offering advice to industry professionals on the best recruiting, talent management, and leadership techniques. For the full article, click here.